Who says corporate mergers are a bad thing?

Jay Thomas (jpthomas@ix.netcom.com)
Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:50:40 -0400

And people were worried about these mergers affecting the unbiased
reporting of the news...

Thursday October 15 7:53 AM EDT

ABC scraps 20/20 story on Disney theme parks

By Josef Adalian

NEW YORK (Variety) - ABC News has slipped a proposed ``20/20''
investigative piece a mickey. The report examines allegations of
safety hazards
at the theme parks of ABC owner Walt Disney Co.

The segment, reported by ABC correspondent Brian Ross, was based in
part on information contained in ``Disney: The Mouse Betrayed,'' a
published expose that chronicles numerous allegations of wrongdoings
within the Mouse House. ABC and the book's publisher, Regnery, signed
a deal
in June giving the network an exclusive advance manuscript of the tome
to be used for a possible ABC News story.

Ross, using the charges in the book as a starting point for his own
investigation, proceeded to work on a story about theme park safety.
But while the
scope of the story was to be broad, Ross initially submitted a report
that contained charges of wrongdoing at Disney parks only, insiders

Ross was asked to go back and re-investigate non-Disney theme parks
but once again came up with no substantial finding of wrongdoing at
properties, sources say, adding that ABC News president David Westin
decided it wasn't appropriate for air and that the piece is now dead.

ABC News issued a statement denying any linkage between corporate
ownership and the decision to not air the investigation. A Disney
spokesman did
not return calls seeking comment.